The heavy rain from Florence divided the county into five islands surrounded by water, with no road access to or between any of these islands. While officials worked to help them, many residents had to fend for themselves.
Jinny* (names changed for privacy) and her family were fortunate. Their home was not flooded, and they had stocked up on supplies before the storm. They made sandwiches and brought them to their neighbors whose homes were flooded.
Pastor Leonard* could have evacuated, but he and his family decided to stay with the residents who were unable to leave. Together, they hunkered down in a makeshift shelter at the fire department. Pastor Leonard’s home and church were flooded. When someone offered his family a place to stay, he selflessly chose to stay in the shelter with his neighbors until the last family found a place to live.
Today, about 1,600 families in Jones County are listed with FEMA as needing temporary shelter. There are no hotels in Jones County and no place to provide them with housing. Some families have found places to stay and some have FEMA housing, but many are living with neighbors, family, or simply moving back into their flood-damaged homes.
World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) representatives recently met with Jinny to offer her assistance through Jones County Rise, a long-term recovery group that is helping residents who were displaced by Florence.
World Renew Rapid Response Teams have already begun mucking out and gutting several homes in the county. We offered to assist the group with development as well as unmet needs assessments and potentially, long-term reconstruction. In partnering with Jones County Rise and other long-term recovery groups from nearby counties,
World Renew is making a difference in the lives of area residents who would otherwise have little hope of recovery from the devastation left by Hurricane Florence.
Ben and Linda Dykstra are volunteer regional managers for World Renew DRS. If you would like to volunteer, visit worldrenew.net/volunteer. To learn more about the ministry of DRS, visit worldrenew.net/drs
Photo Credits: Josh Bunzel
Header Photo: Damage caused by Hurricane Florence
First photo in Body: Volunteers from Bever Creek CRC gutted this home in Jones Co, NC. Ben Dykstra